The focus of educational reform should be for the benefit of students - not on compensating adults - according to a statement today from the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity. Further, a statewide teacher's contract, currently being looked at by a new Senate commission, would infringe on the sovereignty of municipalities and local school committees.
"It is a highly disturbing trend in Rhode Island for the State to continue to seek control over more and more local matters. We saw this with RhodeMap RI, with firefighter union issues, and now, potentially, with teachers. It is well established that local government is the best government where the people can best hold their elected officials accountable," commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. "Too often, the teachers unions make the compensation of teachers the focus of debate rather than the education of students in our under-performing government-run school system. "
The Center maintains that a one-size-fits-all approach is off-base and cannot possibly serve the best interests of the many and diverse local school districts in Rhode Island; and that giving more centralized influence to unions is not in the best interests of our children.
However, the Center believes there can be a state role in saving money for local school districts. Negotiating and offering a large group health insurance option, that local districts can choose to participate in or not - as opposed to a mandate that would surely be part of any statewide contract - is one such concept.
The Center is part of a statewide coalition advocating for an educational choice policy that would directly benefit students trapped in schools that do not adequately prepare them for college or for life, by empowering parents to choose the best educational path for their children.
For more information, visit RIFreedom.org/EdChoiceRI.